Our fascination with excess, sex and debauchery is no coincidence. We've seen it on the runway and we're seeing it in films now too. The post-Covid preoccupation with hedonism is in full swing and nothing represents it better than the newly released trailer to Damien Chazelle's film Babylon.
The director, who is responsible for La La Land and First Man, told W that his "guiding principle" for Babylon was to tear down any previous ideas we had about the Roaring Twenties. He wants us to know that the era was "a lot more wild west...there was more excess, more drugs, a more kind of extreme living on all ends of the spectrum than people even realize”.
If the trailer for Babylon is anything to go off, Chazelle has achieved his mission. Margot Robbie is the first figure we see, acting a sweaty, coked-up and dishevelled aspiring actress called Nellie LaRoy. She tells Diego Calva, "I just want to party forever". The first preview accelerates into a montage of Los Angeles in the 1920s. There's fast cars, film sets, wild parties and, at one point, Brad Pitt tap dancing in his underwear. Everyone is amped up, beautiful yet unfiltered, with lines, grit and general grime hinting at the stench of decay sitting beneath all this decadence.
Chazelle has assembled a striking lineup too. Brad Pitt plays a sleazy Clark Gable-type character, Jean Smart is involved as a sort of no-bullshit, omniscient dame, while Samara Weaving, Tobey Maguire, Max Minghella, Olivia Wilde, Katherine Waterston, and Lukas Haas flit in at random intervals.
Although Babylon is not yet finished, we can expect it to hit theatres on December 25 this year. In the meantime, soak up all the alcohol, drugs and general depravity for yourself in the trailer for Babylon below. We'll be lining up for this one.